As mentioned in a previous post where I explain how to find and book cheap flights, the most common question I receive in my Instagram inbox from followers or passers-by is ‘how do you afford to travel?’. In this post, I highlight some of my top tips for finding a comfortable place to stay, without going over budget.
For many, this is a no-brainer, but for an equal amount of people, confirming a place to stay can often become a last minute task. If you’re hoping to save money on your trip, this is a risk that you simply (and literally) can’t afford to take. By booking way in advance of your trip (a month or more), you are far more likely to find a deal than booking a room say one or two weeks ahead of time.
Book (super) Late
Okay, this may seem to contradict my first point, but stay with me. There is a difference between booking one or two weeks and advance and booking on the day of. While this can be risky, in my experience (especially in African countries) approaching a hotel front desk on the same day as you would like to check in is a great way to score an incredibly discounted room, as hotels would rather make some money on a previously unbooked room instead of no money at all. This can sometimes happen online too, but bearing in mind the risk of not being able to find somewhere appropriate to stay, always prepare some backup options too.
Use a third-party service
“But, you just said to go to the front desk?” Another contradiction, I know but I’m hoping that you trust me enough now to stay with me for one more point. While approaching the front desk works in the situation listed above, heading directly to the website of the hotel that was recommended to you by a friend or that caught your attention on Instagram is a near
Booking.com is an excellent site for finding hotels, apartments, and hostels regardless of your budget. My favourite aspect of the site is that many of the listings have a free cancellation policy and don’t require payment until your arrival which makes it perfect for making reservations before you’ve got your travel funds together! Booking.com also provides access to a multitude of discount rates that you simply wouldn’t be able to get when booking with a hotel directly which provides an opportunity to experience 5-star accommodation at 3-star prices! Get £15 off your first stay.
For solo travellers or those wandering on an extremely limited budget, staying at in a hostel is a great way to meet other travellers and to also avoid breaking the bank. Hostel World offers the web’s largest inventory of hostels in locations across the globe and helps to alleviate the stress of not finding an affordable place to stay. For those who may be reluctant to explore the option of staying in a hostel because they are not fond of the idea of sharing a room with strangers, many hostels also offer private bedrooms (great for couples) with the small inconvenience of a shared bathroom – this is a great way to maintain privacy and save the money you may otherwise spend on a hotel.